because good food is sexeh|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Saturday, November 3rd, 2007|
|Friday, February 23rd, 2007|
|Trip to Amsterdam: speculaas, stroopwafel, ridiculous fries and beer bicycles
I went to the Netherlands last month for a conference. Before I turn to food photos (LJ-cut below), let me start with my revelation
:DUTCH INDONESIAN CUISINE
is officially my new favorite. I had never had real Indonesian food before, since the ingredients/interest/talent are lacking here in the U.S. In the old colonial superpower, however, this is not the case. So check out a splendid Indonesian Rijstafel
, if you ever get the chance.* Unfortunately, no photos, I was too busy enjoying it.A tiramisu (one of my favorite things) made with spiced Speculaas cookies (another one of my favorite things) instead of ladyfingers or sponge cake. Nothing "special," just really Dutch :)
( Click for more special Dutch treats, like ridiculous fries and a beer bicycle!Collapse )
* hint hint, skiadaimonos
**I would have put the fries on the main entry, but ewww, what a picture.
|Sunday, December 31st, 2006|
New & friendly community for posting culinary photos, etc.: delectabilis
|Thursday, December 28th, 2006|
|Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006|
|Saturday, June 17th, 2006|
We just returned from Kauai. Mmmmm fresh ahi poke all around...
So now I'm home and craving some...thought I'd share, in case you've never tried it!
I don’t really “believe” in recipes (except for baking) so here are the basic instructions.
* cube some fresh tuna steaks, sashimi grade and as fresh as possible (bite-size cubes)
* add soy sauce and sesame oil, maybe some sambal olek
* throw in some chopped green onions, maybe some toasted sesame seeds
* toss together and serve!
Other versions use things like teriyaki sauce, sea salt instead of or in addition to soy sauce, garlic, oyster sauce, crushed macadamia nuts, or include various types of seaweed. No acids (citrus or vinegar) though – it’s not a ceviche ;)
|Tuesday, April 4th, 2006|
|Moto Restaurant, Chicago
On Saturday, we went to Moto Restaurant.
I had been dying to go after reading about Chef Cantu's postmodern cuisine, and I figured, hell, it's probably the closest I'll get to El Bulli for now (next to maybe ReMake in Berlin -- but this was better). I recommend checking out the website -- great photography.
The food at Trotter's the night before had definitely set the bar, but what I liked about this place was the atmosphere and the fun
food. It is located in a meatpacking/warehouse district. The decor is very minimalist and modern, the staff is young, and it's more of a "date" place. Younger crowd. Martinis.
First of all, there was an edible menu
. Awesome. The paper was some sort of buttery pastry (two sheets) and the sauce tasted like sour cream and onion dip :)( more pictures and, of course, the menuCollapse )
Apparently Cantu is quite the inventor. Next to the edible menu and aromatic utensils, he has a patent pending on the the red translucent polymer fish steaming box which cooked the bass at the table. Wish I had taken a picture of that. There was also a lot of liquid nitrogen happening (the egg drop soup feature frozen eggs doropped into the soup table-side) as well as CO2 carbonation of food (one dish had carbonated pineapple, another a half a carbonated orange to squeeze over the fish as a sauce, and then there was the do-it-yourself champagne).
|Charlie Trotters, etc. (Chicago)
On our first day in Chicago, we decided to stop by Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill
for lunch, since it was only a short walk from the hotel. We didn't have a reservation, so we had to wait for 30 minutes, but the service was great and the food amazing! ( Here's a (very short) list of what we had...Collapse )
On Friday, we headed to Charlie Trotter's
I had made reservations back in January, I believe -- the place can be hard to get into! Upon arrival we had to wait in the lounge about 20 minutes, which I found a little irritating, especially since they didn't serve cocktails or anything. They only do two seatings per table each night: one at 6pm, and another at 9pm. I'm guessing our table simply wasn't ready when we arrived at 9pm. At least that's what I'm hoping, because the alternative would be that they seated the obvious regulars (who knew the host by name) and diplomats who pulled up in limosines before us. They did apologize profusely for the wait.
Honestly, I found the atmosphere somewhat stuffy, between the dated decor (wallpaper?! brass sconces?!) and the fact that none of the guests were under 45-50 years old. However, service was impeccable and most importantly no one does food as well as Charlie Trotter. Period. No discussion.
It was more relaxed at the end of the night, and the staff was enormously friendly. The highlight and grand finale of the evening was a tour of the kitchen, tv studio, and amazing wine cellar. They let us hover as much as we wanted and ask as many questions as we pleased. ( click here for the menu at Trotter's and moreCollapse )
|Thursday, March 16th, 2006|
Obviously I haven't been updating this journal much.....but I'm sure I will after our trip to Chicago in two weeks. Already have reservations at Charlie Trotter's, Moto, and one of the Bayless restaurants :D
In the meantime, just wanted to share what we used for gifts last holiday season: bottled homemade limoncello and orangecello! It was sort of appropriate for foodie/chef friends and most family members.
limoncello right, orangecello left
The whole project took about 6-7 months, to allow everything to mellow out. And my citrus trees are heavy with fruit again...
I can't find the exact recipe we used anymore but it was pretty similar to this one
. I also ordered like 40 bottles and personalized labels from this site.
Damn, I sound like Martha Stewart...
|Sunday, January 22nd, 2006|
|NYE including photos
New Year's Eve Menu 2005/06
Peppered Ahi Tuna Loin
Toasted Sesame and Yuzo Vinaigrette
Lobster Medallion on Shaved Fennel and Basil Oil
Russian Caviar on Avocado Espuma
Jicama, Apple, and Mache Salad
Blood Oranges, Crisp Lavash
Salted Candied Walnuts
Vanilla and Champagne Vinaigrette
White Asparagus and Black Truffel Gelato
Roasted Tenderloin of Beef
Haricot Verts, Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Porcini Mushrooms
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Demi Glace
Meyer Lemon Cake with Frangelico Panna Cotta( photosCollapse )
|Dinner at ReMake, Berlin
Five-course menu at ReMake in Berlin (see previous post for a desciption of the restaurant). I especially like the 2nd course, "aspargus four ways." We were there during Spargel
season, so everyone was offering asparagus (esp. the white variety). Unfortunately, Germans prefer them cooked to death, so this was the first time I was truly happy with an aspargaus dish I ordered. And there was a popsicle involved!
1st course: "capuccino" of squid cooked in its own ink and topped with a potato foam, served in a martini glass
2nd course: asparagus four ways: fresh white asparagus salad with lemon vinaigrette; green asparagus gelee; white asparagus and black truffel popsicle; and cold asparagus vichysoisse soup in shotglass
3rd course: duck breast, served rare with crisped skin, polenta wrapped with prosciutto, sage drizzle, hazelnut cream, and sugared hazelnuts
4th course: pine nut ice cream, honey candy and peanut
5th course: white chocolate foam, fig syrup, and mango custard (layered in glass)
( clicky for some photosCollapse )
|Restaurants in Berlin
(this is from summer 05)
I'll be honest: I spent some time researching restaurants in Berlin, and yet every single one we ended up at -- and particularly the ones we liked best -- were discovered by accident.
Our top choice in Berlin is, by far, ReMake
, located at Große Hamburger Str. 32, near Hackescher Markt (we found this one after getting lost on the way to a club late one night.) Cristiano Rienzner, the chef, studied under the awesome Ferran Adrià (of el bulli
fame). That says it all, right? Not surprisingly, this restaurant was honored as Aufsteiger des Jahres 2005 (Rising Star of 2005). I'll post menu and photos later.
I'm not sure if they just hit my Thai craving just right or what, but Restaurant Papaya
was the MOST AWESOME Thai food I'd ever had. We went back more than once, so I'm sure there was something to it. The decor and staff were really nice, too.Midtown Grill
, inside the Marriott at Potsdamer Platz, is a great place for lunch. Great food, not too expensive (they do the whole "business lunch" thing that is really popular in German cities). I have a weak spot for open kitchen design so the architecture was another draw for me.
We also went to über-famous Bocca di Bacco
, an Italian restaurant on Friedrichstrasse. We had fresh pasta and shaved white truffel to start off with -- you can't get more awesome than that. As for entrees, I had the cavatelli with quail ragout and pistachio, Val had the sea bass. Neither were spectacular, though very good for Italian food (I guess I was reminded why I don't go out for Italian much). The place was also very stuffy and the server didn't seem to want to hand over the wine list (pointing us instead to the open wines by the glass)...whoa, you suck.
|Hegemony Meets Gastronomy: Europe’s Largest Gourmet Food Store
Berlin’s famous department store Kaufhaus des Westens (or KaDeWe for short) houses the largest gourmet food store in Europe. On the eighth floor (seventh Etage ), some 33,000 items are for sale, stretching across 74,000 square feet. There are 1,300 varieties of cheese, 1,200 types of sausage and cured hams, and 400 different breads and rolls, in addition to every imaginable type of wild and cultivated produce from around the globe. There are vast displays of caviars, pates, hors d’oeuvres, petit fours, lavish cakes, and a spectacular wine collection. This huge space also accommodates 33 gourmet food stands and comfortable seating for those wishing to enjoy an upscale meal right in the store. Some 150 cooks and 500 employees work to transform this gargantuan space into what has been called “the most spectacular variety of edibles of any commercial establishment in the world.”
Built in 1907 in the fashionable West End of Berlin, KaDeWe has regularly expanded to maintain its presence as the epicurean heart of the city. During World War II, a U.S. American plane crashed into and nearly destroyed the eight-story department store. In 1950, seven years later, the store reopened as the hallmark of postwar West German prosperity. This icon of modern capitalism stood, of course, in stark contrast to what was going on just a few miles away in East Berlin. By 1961, construction had begun on the Berlin Wall which would divide the city for some four decades. As one author put it: “In the bad old days, West Berliners were supposed to be reminded by the KaDeWe's products of the rewards for standing up to the communist bloc. And the communist bloc? Well, it was supposed to salivate with envy.”
Above: Produce display at KaDeWe offering wild mushrooms, wild asparagus (sign),
and other produce.( More photos behind the cutCollapse )